Lessons from last election

During the last state election, when I made a last minute decision to stand as an Independent candidate. I kept a blog. This shows lessons learned!

I note that I ran a 3 week campaign on a budget of $1000 and managed to garner just under 4% of the vote!

Note particularly estimations of the cost of a vote for a major party rep.

My $1000 budget cost approx $1.12 per vote, Mr Lawrie’s Christian Independent cost seems to be approx $10,50 per vote, Mr Newell’s somewhere around $8.30 and Mr Provest’s around $20 per vote on considered guesses as to their actual costs.

Updated 3/2/2007

julie’s space

Help Create a Political Climate Change

Thanks all It’s been a fun ride.

I would like to thank everyone who offered me such incredibly positive feedback and support over the 3 weeks of my very brief election campaign, and to those brave enough to risk voting for me. My decision to run as a candidate was based purely on a wish to raise the profile of issues of serious concern to our community, and to also conduct an experimental campaign to try and highlight some of the inequities and absurdities in our political system. My $1000 budget cost approx $1.12 per vote, Mr Lawrie’s Christian Independent cost seems to be approx $10,50 per vote, Mr Newell’s somewhere around $8.30 and Mr Provest’s around $20 per vote on considered guesses as to their actual costs. I would love to hear accurate figures. Congratulations Geoff. You know we’ll all be watching you fulfill your promises with great interest.

MEDIA RELEASE- Stop the Polling Day Scrum

Julie Boyd, an Independent candidate in last weekend’s state election has called for an end to the ‘Polling Day Scrum’. Ms Boyd was appalled by the way people were forced to run the gauntlet and even tolerate some intimidation in the way they were at some booths on Saturday. The booths in some of the villages were quite civilised, and the various supporters even friendly- but that was not the case everywhere. ‘No wonder so many people in Australia are being turned off voting. Trying to make a choice of which is the ‘least worst’ party is bad enough. To then have to sort the truth from party or candidate fabrication with some of the tactics that were used on Saturday, and to then have to run the gauntlet of party supporters acting like a flock of seagulls around a chip’ must make anyone but the hardiest voter feel comfortable.’ Ms Boyd said earlier today. She will be writing to the Electoral Commissioner to request an investigation into a more equitable and pleasant system of voting modelled along polling booth practices of other countries including New Zealand as ‘the existing arrangements are highly discriminatory as well as extremely unpleasant.’ ‘A system which allows each candidate one poster and some boxes of how-to-vote cards for each booth with no supporters allowed would make for a much more reasonable and equitable system. It would cut down the incredible waste on advertising, stop the ‘territorial behaviour’ of some of the party supporters, and generally assist voters to feel more welcome. Ms Boyd entered the election race only three weeks ago to raise the profile of community issues and to conduct an experimental campaign to try and highlight some of the inequities and absurdities in our political system.

Achievements of the Campaign

I have offered a range of commonsense practical solutions (eg parapolice to support police in area, final year dental students to cope with the backlog) I have focused on working with and strengthening the community eg community chest etc We have achieved major concessions wrt 2 of the biggest development issues threatening the local villages The community is starting realize it does have another champion of resident and community rights I’ve been able to ensure that community issues which have languished have had a very healthy and useful spotlight shone on them. I changed the focus of other candidate campaigns to hold them more accountable I think I did show $1000 and some ingenuity will go a long way in politics- just not quite far enough! It’s been a a lot of fun- up to today so my entertainment allowance was well spent!! Not a bad 3 weeks for someone who was totally unknown and literally came out of nowhere to enter the campaign in it’s final stages.

Next Challenge- Get rid of Polling Booth Gauntlets and Campaign Advertising!

Cam-pain- today certainly is! Today is polling day and what a dreadful experience a lot of it has been. There have been wonderful moments, however the gauntlet that voters are forced to go through in order to cast their vote is worse than a rugby scrum in some places- incredibly intimidating. This needs to be stopped! I’ve pretty much enjoyed the whole thing up to today. I’ve met some lovely people who’ve come up and thanked me for standing and told me why they’ll vote- and have also met the most revolting lies and vitriol from a couple of the other candidates who I guess must be feeling eihter threatened or guilty- or both! The hypocrisy, lies and gutter tactics I’ve seen today are just disgusting. I had to walk away from one place I just couldn’t stand it any more. The last week has been a mass of junk mail from both major parties. Imagine how much money we’d have for police, schools and hospitals if the pollies were to give up their junk mail allowance. The Green’s campaign was totally hijacked by the Labor Party as a result of the confusion over their preferences caused by a division in the Greens themselves. The Nationals totally changed their ‘sell’ to the community which has been interesting to observe. They’re stil only talking about doing- and their capaign promises have been costed at $10billion more than the state has to spend. The Labor Party’s overwhelming presence with advertising today was totally over the top and very Americanised. The Independent who ‘dropped’ the Christian Democrat Party on the day of registration seems to be heartily embracing them today as they all hand out his junk. Having spent most of his campaign trying to denigrate me- it’s a shame he didn’t put his energy into coming up with something constructive. It does make me a little disheartened to see how- having worked in the business and corporate sectors as well as education, that politics has shaped up to be by far the dirtiest business I’ve ever dipped into!

You MUST vote 1,2,3! MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT

This is the most marginal seat in NSW. Let me say again- for your vote to have maximum impact you MUST vote 1,2,3 at least for the first three candidates of your choice (even if you don’t want to! I’ve had to choose the best of a bad lot but I ran to give you a choice). MOst people do not understand our preference system. All that counts is your No 1 vote, adn then which of the major parties is listed ahead of the other- regardless of their position on the list. If you only vote 1, your vote will be useless after the first round of counting as it will ‘expire’. If you want to make a protest vote then vote 1- Julie Boyd and 2- the major party candidate of your choice then 3 for one other. My choice ias major party candidate is Labor as I can’t see how the NAtional’s bloke wil be able to achieve anything in opposition- but because of the stupidity of those who will accuse me of being somehow connected to him I had to put the Greens guy in between us.

We don’t know how lucky we are!

Those who haven’t travelled sometimes don’t always appreciate how lucky we are in the land of Oz. In another ‘postcard from Japan’ tonight my son outlined how, when the Australian Consul is on holidays, registration of a vote requires special permission from Tokyo even when you live on Hokkaido, thousands of km away. And, by the way, the cherry blossoms started to bloom today- an auspicious sign as they are early this year. After speaking to some, in the last few days who state openly that they ‘won’t’ vote here, and having given a week of my life to considering the best way to ‘suggest’ preferences, I am really disturbed that something as simple as how I pat someone’s dog, or speak to their child will ultimately determine their vote. The levels of understanding that it really comes down to which of the major parties in listed above the other on your ‘how to vote’ card, regardless of the position on the card, is little understood in the electorate at all – even by the most imtelligent of people. I am so grateful that I understand the processes of government needed for change to occur and , as a result, have managed to achieve more than the outcomes I was seeking as a result of my nomination – even though I’ll never get the credit as others are lining up to take that. I don’t really care- all I wanted was the best outcomes for the community and we’re on the way with that!

MEDIA RELEASE- The Preference Debacle and My Choices

Well all of my angst about trying to do the best that I can in terms of preferences has just been turned on it’s head again! A day sure is a long time in politics. My HTV card went to the printer last night as I couldn’t hold it any longer and as soon as it went- what happens! I get a call to say that the Director of NSW Planning has agreed to support the 2 storey limit though Hastings Point! Interesting timing after all the submissions to Council, Minister for Planning, Ombudsman etc- but still- it looks like a win for the community which is why I stood in the first place- so that’s terrific. While I feel vindicated for standing when there have been some good community outcomes, it annoys me that it also highlights the impossibility of Joe Average being able to make a difference unless they have a really good sense of how ‘the system’ works adn how to work within and around it. All my old experience in the business and corporate worlds, and with working with politicians internationaly has come in very handy in understanding how to get these outcomes. Then- I get an email from the Greens guy this morning to effectively say he doesn’t want my preferences. So- I’ve been scratching my head about whether I get the printer to pulp the HTV cards printed this morning (30,000 of them!) and try to get a reprint done in the next 2 days, or whether I go with my decision and give my first preference to him anyway! The Labor Govt have shown that they will support their candidate this close to an election- but everyone is so cynical about the timing and announcement of Ministerial statements and the Premier’s visit. I doubt the support I’m getting from people will transer into votes however I am glad I stood. I’ve not heard a word from the Nationals and have not been convinced of Geoff’s ability to achieve any of his promises with the return of a Labor Govt and teh other two Independents are so far wide of my philosophy of life they don’t feature on my radar at all. So basically, in a safe seat this issue of preferences isn’t an issue. It would just be ‘Vote 1, me!’ But in such a marginal seat people need to be encouraged to list at least 3 people as 1,2,3 on their ballot paper in order to make their vote count as much has it needs to. I am glad I stood! Despite the stupidity!

My gatecrashing strategy seems to work

Gate crashed another Ministerial meeting this monring! The Minister for NAtural Resources was here to launch our new ‘Coastal Estuaries Strategy’ so I crashed the meeting, bowled up to him and asked him to extend the exclusion zone for development from 20metres to 100metres from the edge of an estuary as that would overcome all our development problems on the coast in one hit. His response was ‘I can’t we’re in caretaker mode’ to which I replied ‘then what the hell are you doing launchig a new strategy and policy today?’ HE didn’t know what to say adn the reporters killed themselves laughing!

Copy-right

Well- when I was working with the Chinese a few years ago I was told that their interpretation of copyright was to make sure they copy something exactly. Well- I guess that’s alive and well here too. It’s lovely to know that my presence in the election is having some interestig impacts. not the least of which is one of the candidates raiding my ‘solutions box’ for ideas. At least he has changed his campaign so I guess ‘copyright’ is alive and well here after all- or should i just interpret it that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery!!!!!

A little light relief

Just as I was getting so bogged down in the incredibe stories of corruption caused by pure greed and stupidity that seem to pervade the Australian political system at all levels of government and feeling very disheartened, and my friends are wondering if there is any country in the world where the government is free of corruption, my daughter sent me a pin to wear on election day which she says epitomises my approach to life which says ‘unf..k the world’, and my son sent me this email which I shows the funny side of politics. ” saw on the news vanstone’s expense account included $30,000 for Chinese lessons. Maybe I can teach her (or her successor!) Japanese next. Printed out your pamphlet and showed it to some people yesterday and they were all rapt and talked about differences in the Japanese voting system. No preferences and no boxes to tick on the voting form- you just write down a canditate’s name, so all the candidates with difficult chinese kanji have to dumb down the way their name is written, and TV stars and pro wrestlers get elected coz they’re the only names old people can remember. Plus it costs a few thousand dollars just to enter the race. So the Australian system does have a bright side.” I’d like to think it does- but not until we can get a few people into parliament who do have integrity, and influence, and the intent to do the right thing by the comunity, not just the economy. In all the thousands and thousands of people I used to talk to when i was working nationally and internationally, there are very few people who’s ambition it is to be the richest, but loneliest corpse in the graveyard!

MEDIA RELEASE Julie asks some difficult questions

At the ‘Great Debate’ held Friday night at the Tweed Heads Community Centre, community based Independent Julie Boyd announced that she was yet to finalise her preferences, and asked questions of other candidates to enable her make the final decision. ‘ I’m asking these questions on behalf of Tweed voters who also want answers’ she said. She wants Mr Newell to clarify how he will ensure that his party will support Tweed residents throughout the next term if he, and the Labor party are returned, as they appear to have ‘abandoned him on occasion and only reappeared in the weeks prior to elections.’ Mr Provest has been asked to confirm how he intends to implement his multi-million dollar promises in the event that the Labor Government is returned and he is in opposition. ‘It’s one thing to say he will work with tthem, but what if they won’t work with him,’ she said. ‘If they won’t support Neville and he is one of them, how on earth will Geoff get a Sydney-centric Labor Government to support him?’ she asks Ms Boyd considers the issue of preferences to be of paramount importance as they may, ultimately determine the outcome of this election. As such, she considers this a significant responsibility and has been giving deep and careful consideration to the way in which she will suggest preferences. Ms Boyd said that she was concerned that two of the other three candidates were asking voters to simply vote 1 for them. ‘This may be confusing to voters who want their votes to determine the outcome of the election. If voters only mark one square then their vote will only count in the first round and expire after that’ she said. She is asking other voters to vote 1 for their candidate of choice, but then to ‘ at least put 2 and 3 beside other candidates of their next choice’. You don’t need to put a number beside each candidate for your vote to count’ she said. Ms Boyd said that she had registered multiple ‘how to vote’ cards and was awaiting the responses of candidates to her questions before making a final decision which she will announce on Friday. Ms Boyd’s decision to run as an Independent in this election was borne of her frustration at finding ‘there was no-one she wanted to vote for. ‘I got to the point where I realised if I was feeling like that- there are probably other people looking for a real alternative as well, and I am genuinely independent with the interests of Tweed residents at heart’ she said.

MEDIA RELEASE – Come Clean on Campaign Funding

Julie Boyd said today that she has absolutely nothing to hide with regard to her campaign and funding. Ms Boyd had a self funded budget of $1000 which she will ‘just break’. My campaign costs to date have been approximately $600 for my brochures, $160 for tee shirts and I have a quote of just under $300 to get my how to vote cards printed this week. It also cost $250 to register and get my ‘pollie showbag’, she said. Ms Boyd has conducted her entire campaign by herself with just ‘moral support and editorial help’ from friends. ‘I didn’t want to burden my friends with my decision to run’ she said. ‘My son, who is based in Japan, built my little website (www.julieboydtweed.com) for nothing. I’ve received one $50 donation from a very kind woman who wanted to help and refused to take it back. Another friend has promised a few dollars but I haven’t received them and certainly won’t be asking, so they may or may not eventuate’. Ms Boyd has run her ‘shoestring’ campaign as an antidote to the excessive advertising budgets of the major parties, and to try to demonstrate that ‘money can’t buy everything’. ‘I did ask Geoff (Provest) on Friday night at the Great Debate where his money tree was as I was curious, but I didn’t get an answer’ she said. ‘I want to see how far $1000 will get you in politics’. Ms Boyd has also given the undertaking from the beginning of her campaign that, in the unlikely event that she should be elected, she will establish a ‘community chest’ comprising 50% of the aftertax salary of the position, which will be used to provide ‘seed money’ for community activities and to fund a series of ‘community mastermind forums’ around specific issues such as eldercare, youth, and community safety.’ I would consider it an honour to represent the people of Tweed and to bring some commonsense, practical, community based solutions into being. I don’t need a lot of money to live’ she said. Julie invites all other candidates, not just the Independents, to publically announce their expenditure and the source of all campaign donations before the election, as she shares the concern expressed by Andrew Thorpe (DN letters 17/3) that the remnants of ‘Tweed Directions’ may still be active.

Where’s the coverage

Well- the candidates all spent heaps of time preparing thier responses for ‘the Great debate’. Where’s the media coverage????? Today’s effort was disappointing. Knocked off the front page by a bet!! I guess I shouldn’t have said I have no time for betting after having to clean up the mess in families torn apart by parents gambling problems when I was working as a psych! Just as well I didn’t talk about the other issues I had to deal with!

The Great Debate

Well- the Great Debate was held last night. About 250 people turned up which was good though quite a few were the ‘cheer squads’ for the major parties. Was reassuring to know I had some supporters there as well. The MC and facilitator were both very accomplished and professional. i was disappointed with this mornings news report in one of the local papers where the reporter didn’t seem to pick up on the key issues at all. There are some serious questions that remain for the other candidates to answer. I asked the sitting member how he will ensure that his party does actually support his demands in the interim between elections and not just 2 weeks before. I asked the National Party candidate how he could possibly hope to implement his multi-million dollar promises if he is in opposition adn the current govt won’t even support it’s own bloke. I stated that the third independent who noone has ever seen, can be allowed to make a mockery of our electoral system, And I asked the former Christian Democrat bloke why he sold out the residents of Hastings Point by passing a very damaging motion which still threatens the entire village, just before the local council, of which he was a member, was sacked and investigated for corruption. There are some truly nasty characters around masquerading as decent people who are wrecking people’s lives for the benefit of a couple of their mates. There certainly is a black side to some humans and politics seems to bring out the very worst in them.

A biiiiig response

Well well well. From today’s papers at least one of my colleagues in the election is reading my blog!! Nice to know I can have an impact- and a full page advert to boot!!! The rest of the papers are full of pollie photo ops and announcements about services the local communities have been asking for for years. Funny how they suddenly get announced just before the election. I the meantime I’m just getting on with doing what I do everyday- cleaning up other people’s messes- both literally and metaphorically, talking to people and helping them solve their problems- from a friend’s dog’s fleas to a daughter’s insect bite gone wrong, to preparing information for tomorrow night’s debate and helping residents write letters to various government bodies, not to mention taking care of the hundreds of decisions that seem to be needed right now. If ‘being seen’ is the qualification you need to be considered a good politician then that’s not me- but if getting things done in ways that meet the needs of the community is what makes a good pollie- then I’m up there!

Decisions, decisions

It seems that we’ve hit silly season where the boys start trading insults and calls for resignations start flying. And one of our ‘candidates’ has been questioned in the local press. He doesn’t live here, has possibly never even visited the area. Makes a mockery of the system that non-residents are even allowed to run in things like this. I’m still trying to make a final decision re preferences. Am not happy at all with any of the other candidates so I feel as if I’m being forced to chose the best of a bad lot of choices. That’s why I’m running- so I have someone to vote for!! The question to the National Party guy I need answered is- if you get in, and we have a Labor Government returned- how are you going to work with them to deliver on any of your promises? My question to the sitting Labor member is – how are you going to ensure your party supports you and the residents of the Tweed not just for the 10 days before the election- but for the rest of the term? I wonder if this will get picked up by any of the press!

A photo op for Pottsville

So Pottsville is going to finally get the Community Health Centre the community have been lobbying for and working towards for years. As they said in Muriel’s wedding ‘What a Coincidence’ that the announcement comes a week before the election. Do politicians genuinely believe the voters are stupid? I’m continuing to resist ‘campaigning’ in the same manner as the other candidates. No seeking out photo ops for me- I’d rather go and clean up the beach, or help someone write a letter, or go letterboxing in the rain and have a chat to lovely dog-owners or the council workers sitting in their trucks. I think it’s time for politicians to reclaim the word ‘integrity’. It seems to be a commodity that is difficult to find- and they don’t seem to understand why. Genuinely caring for people and showing that, knowing how to network effectively, and understaning how to mobilise numbers of people and giving them permission to stand up for what they believe in- that’s what I think a pollie’s job is! Strategy adn tactics are a small part of it all. Politicians are employed by the community- and they need to take the lead in modelling how to work well. Some lovely phonecalls tonight from people who got the flyers in their letterboxes today saying they are so pleased they now know how to vote for me. If people do vote for me however, my preferences may become important in deciding who wins the seat- that’s a heck of a responsibility- so I’m considering all the implications very, very carefully.

My campaign in ‘200 words or less’

Julie Boyd is a Mum, a resident and a multiple award winning small business owner. She believes the Tweed community and environment are in chaos – the legacy of decisions made by governments ignoring local communities, speculative developers, and a council sacked and investigated for corruption. Overly rapid development with insufficient planning has led to inadequate infrastructure and services. Many teenagers are out of control because of lack of responsibility. Parents and schools are begging for help. Police, and medical practitioners are stretched beyond their capabilities. Families, small business and our environment are under extreme stress. What the Tweed desperately needs is a deep breath and real community consulation!. All large developments, including Jack Evans Boat Harbour need community accountability, to benefit everyone, not just the bank accounts of a few. We need a plan to address car use- particularly in the Tweed CBD, not just fix Sexton’s Hill. We need common sense, strategic planning and a longterm view of how we want our coast to be for future generations. Julie Boyd has extraordinary experience and commitment, and is offering her services in representing the whole Tweed community.

No council sacking for me!

I can categorically state that I’ve never been part of a council that was sacked and investigated for corruption- and, unless he was in an unrecognisable disguise, I’ve Never met with Brian Burke!!!!!!

Preferences- the 64million $ question!

Questions about preferences seem to be the 64million dollar question right now (though I guess even that figure has gone up with inflation!). To be perfectly honest I still haven’t decided if I am going to do anything with preferences or not. If I do- what I will be doing is not ‘directing preferences’ but rather simply saying to people that if they want to vote for me – they have three options A. to just put ‘1’ against Julie Boyd on the ballot paper and leave the others blank. B to put ‘1’ against my name then number the rest of the candidates according to their own choice. C. If they want to vote the same way that I will, then they’ll get that list on the day. Right now my little brochures only list A- that was basically because when they went to the printer we still weren’t sure who was actually running. I’m not trying to be coy. I simply have unanswered questions from the other candidates at this point in time to do with community issues.

A near tragedy- no place for politicing!

Everyone was very shaken by a near drowning involving two little girls in our creek yesterday. We were all deeply grateful to the gentleman who pulled the girls out and others who assisted with CPR until the ambulance arrived. This incident highlights two very important issues. One- that we do need to constantly keep an eye out, not just for out own children but other little ones who may be playing close by. ‘We need a community attitude that all adults have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all children.’ she said. The second is that the lack of ready availability of an ambulance, and the need for 4 calls to be made before a response was enabled, is yet another example of how much our infrastructure is lagging behind the population and visitor explosion on the coast. It’s all very well for developers to be trumpeting the success of their ventures- but this is what the community is having to deal with. Our police and ambulance personnel are ‘stretched to the limit’ and doing their best under what can only be described as impossible circumstances’. What we have right now is not sustainable.

Respnse to a qn about Global Warming and what I’m doing about it

I learned my conservation values from the old bush workers in the tiny country town where I was born. I raised my children for the first few years of their lives on a fully self sustained little farm. After many years of traveling to work internationally, these days I choose to fly as little as possible. I drive small cars. Walk and bikeride as much as possible. I use ethanol enhanced petrol wherever possible. I don’t use clothes dryers or irons unless unavoidable. Rarely use an airconditioner (twice in 5 years!) I take very brief showers. I have low flow showerheads and compact fluoro lightbulbs. Don’t have air con in the car. Rarely eat red meat. Use baskets and reusable shopping bags. Buy as little unnecessary ‘stuff’ as possible (a challenge during an election!) I’m also trying to run my election campaign by expending as little money as possible (to make a point about campaign spending as well as the greenhouse gas issues). And friends who are remarrying these days are encouraged to have trees planted in their honour rather than accept other gifts. Twice a day when possible I do a beach cleanup on daily walks. I could go on- but I’m sure your space is limited. 3 What practical action will you take, on behalf of your electorate, to cut emissions if you win the state election? Lead by example Provide practical information to the electorate about what they can do to help Lobby the Council and State and Federal Governments to reduce their own emissions. Work with community organizations to create educational opportunities around these issues. Encourage eco-action and ecoliteracy programs in schools and for their parent groups. Lobby for a reduction in the use of government cars and business fleets and encourage the use of public transport by politicians (a huge challenge in the Tweed) Establish a public transport taskforce to find and implement both immediate and longterm solutions to our car-based culture.

Pollie school and our places on the Ballot

I was quoted correctly this morning so that was great. I’m pretty impressed with the fairness and accuracy of the majority of the journalists I’ve spoken to over the past couple of weeks. Those who are genuinely interested seem to have got the message that I’m trying to run a very different type of campaign and that’s coming through in many of their articles. I’m in this to try and make things better for our community- not for any personal political ambition at all. I see my community in the same way I see my family. I’ll always act in the interests of the residents/community and I’ll fight to protect it. This afternoon I get to go to pollie school as we are having a candidate seminar. That will be fun And the Ballot places were determined yesterday- a bit like doing the draw at Wimbledon! I’m No 2, coming in behind the sacked councillor/former christian democrat who is No 1 and ahead of the Greens candidate. Then another guy who cam out of the woodwork yesterday. The two major parties are at the bottom of the list.

Misquotes and half stories

It is frustrating when only half the story provided is reported correctly. Still- I suppose they got half the story right today. In response to the Pottsville violence I explained that when I worked with communities in America (in LA and Utah- not New South Wales!) to deal with these types of youth problems one of the strategies we used was a Youth Council which does have influence, including direct feedin to legislative processes. This is only part, however of a broader community strategy which involves police, parents, schools and the kids, to come up with solutions. The proposal by our sitting Member that he legislates to cap numbers of people who can attend private parties shows a very naieve understanding of contemporary youth culture. These problems are not caused by local kids going to a friend’s party. They are caused by ready accessibility to alcohol, drugs and technology (mobile phones and myspace). If the kids are moved- they will simply recongregate at another spot. They know this, the police know this. Often the parents know this and are unable to stop it as we now have a culture where kids know ‘their rights’ (just not their responsibilities!). As a trained psychologist I know what ‘motivates them’ – that’s not what I said at all. What I did say was that the ONLY way to deal with this is through a coordinated community response which supports the police and schools and parents. Kids do respond to being given responsibility and being involved they need to see themselves as part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Whose Campaign Issues – policing problems.

So the ‘campaign issues’ have been identified as transport, infrastructure, law and order, the environment and industrial relations. I’m not sure by whom! I thought that todays editorial was much closer to the mark when it stated the feelings of one residents who said ‘forget bloody trains, forget Sexton Hill and roads forget water and cross border issues.’ His vote will go to the candidate who can make him feel safe. The question is- will someone who quotes lots of numbers, or promises huge amounts of money, or proposes unachievable goals, make him feel safe. Will someone who has to keep asking for party approval make him feel safe. Will someone who might agree one minute with a proposal, then the next day move a recission motion as he’d changed his mind make this resident feel safe? Or will a problem solver who wants the community to work with the police to support them and stop them from crashing out on stress leave, and mobilise the community to protect itself, make him feel safe. We’ll have to wait and see. Policing, nursing and teaching are three incredibly highly stressful occupations. The numbers within all three professions that are disabled by stress is enormous. If we, as a community, were better able to support these professions and use preventative strategies to stop them from becoming overly stressed, we could easily end up 1/3 more teachers, nurses and police than we have now. Isn’t that one strategy worth investigating. Getting them back to work in a capacity that they can manage? We need more of them not less, and we need to look after the good ones that we already have . There is a connection between an overly stressed society, and an overly stressed planet. But it seems that’s not as obvious as I would have thought. Here’s a simple equation: Over development + Over population + Over worked parents = overly stressed police, teachers and nurses.
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